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NO BS – The 12 things you REALLY need to do if you want to build a six figure business online – Part 1

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Making money online is like using a very potent drug.

Once you see significant amounts of money from a product or affiliate sale hit your account, you’ll never really be the same again.

My name’s Onuora Amobi and I am the CEO of Learn About The Web inc.

Learn About The Web™ is an online education platform I created to provide universities with the tools and services they need to credibly teach online business. Businesses and consumers also use our tools and services to learn the steps to creating successful online businesses.

A little about me

Onuora-Amobi- CEO-LearnAboutThewebI started my online journey accidentally 14 years ago. I was a very well paid enterprise software consultant who was on the road traveling all the time.

You can take a look at my Linkedin profile and see some of the companies I worked for when I was a little younger.

Inevitably on weekends, rather than fly back to my home in California, I would end up in some foreign city (insert Miami, New York, Plano etc etc here).

Being a bit of a nerd, I found that dabbling on the web was a good intellectual exercise I enjoyed and it actually helped me relax after a very long week.

Well, what started out as dabbling turned into a hobby, which became an obsession and then became my life’s passion. I was able to quit my day job 6 years ago and have made my living on the internet since.

I have made a LOT of money (several hundred thousand dollars) online and I get irritated when I read some of the BS get rich quick prescriptions for making money online.

I would love to share the 12 most important things people need to do if they are really serious about making money online.

I promise you that these are not the touchy-feely lists you are used to but are actually based on substantial amounts of real life experience.

This is part one of a three part series so let’s get started with the first 4 attributes.

Focus on Education

online-education698

This industry is first and foremost about education. You have to know what the different elements are that are available to you.

  • Is my idea for an online business viable? How do I research that idea?
  • How do I design that idea and then get it built?
  • What can I outsource? Should I just buy a website?

On and on the questions keep coming and they never stop.

The difference between being successful online and throwing your money away is knowing the answers to those questions.

Insert Shameless Plug – That’s why I started Learn About The Web. I realized that people simply didn’t know where to even begin and they needed a guide through the process.

(Really) You need to put the time in

numberofhours-final

It’s so fascinating to me that people equate making money from blogs or software online as something cool fun and easy.

No one looks at medicine, law, architecture that way but they see online business as easy.

It’s not. In fact I’ll tell you a couple of secrets that you almost never hear.

  • It’s hard to get started.
  • It gets harder every year.

People get confused because it’s cheaper and RELATIVELY easier to get started than being a lawyer or doctor. That doesn’t make what we do a walk in the park.

In order to be successful in this business, you have to know what the heck you are doing and that ONLY comes with time. The sooner you start your website, fail and get back up, the quicker you’ll get to your success.

Online business is way more fun that law or engineering or any traditional discipline because there’s so unlimited potential – you can be as successful as you are smart.

On the flip side, it’s also more challenging than law or engineering or any traditional discipline because the learning doesn’t ever stop.

Never.

Web tools, trends and technology change all the time and there is always something new to learn. It all takes time.

Here’s one of my favorites – Fail cheap, often and well

Michael Jordan Fails Well

I have probably built about 50 websites over the past 14 years and most of them were glorious failures.

I have built sites about immigration, online dating, technology, cars, finance, you name it. It was a fun process for me because I learned how to get 10 people a day to my website. That was AMAZING.

Then I learned that if I changed some text or chose a different topic, maybe 100 people a day would come. Real live people!!

Then maybe a thousand or 10 thousand or my all time high – 50,000 visitors in one day!

Quick aside – when that many people come to a site that you built from your head with no one else’s help, I simply cannot explain that rush to you. It’s a drug!

I only got to that point because I learned how to fail.

These sites cost me very little money. I learned that my major cost was my time.

You see it was cost effective for me to start a small web business, see how far I could take it, fail, learn from those mistakes and start again but just a little smarter.

I learned WordPress, Photoshop, PHP, HTML, CSS, Copywriting, Outsourcing, Affiliate Marketing and lots more by failing well.

Efficient failure is a great skill to learn.

Never forget that this is about adding value. You and your audience both have to win

Mutually-Beneficial698

This is by far the easiest lesson to forget and the hardest one to learn. This is also the quintessential online marketing trap that new entrepreneurs fall into.

The biggest temptation that will hit you when you make your first thousand, 10 thousand, 100 thousand or million dollar payday will be to DO IT AGAIN.

This is almost always the wrong move to make.

You always need to take a step back and continually ask yourself the following:

  • Am I adding value to my audience?
  • How am I adding value to my audience?
  • Am I honestly trying to help them achieve a desired outcome?
  • Am I primarily driven by money?

The relationship between you and your audience (if done well) is actually very intimate.

You are a content provider. You (hopefully) provide something that your audience likes and wants and they start to really trust and depend on you.

You need to make every effort to keep that circle of trust intact. Your business will (literally) depend on it.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series where I talk about finding your voice and being clear.

Use the comments below and let me know if you agree or have gone through any of these steps as well.

Onuora Amobi is VP of Marketing at Learn About The Web. He has an extensive background in both Online Marketing and Enterprise Technology solutions.

10 Comments
  • http://kbanjarmasin.blogspot.com/ Dheavy Bungas

    Wow..amazing thank you very much.

    • http://latw.wpengine.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad you found this interesting.

      🙂

  • Cliff14

    Part 1 definitely didn’t disappoint! I can’t wait for parts 2 and 3. Onuora, if you don’t mind me asking, what site has been your most successful and which site did you get 50,000 visitors in one day? I’m guessing they’re the same site.

  • Leonard

    I love this. A real look at how the sausage is made, Onuora. You’re keeping it real. My favorite part was when you correctly pointed out the stigma that online business is easy. When did this come about and why do people think this way? I don’t get it.

    • http://latw.wpengine.com/ Onuora Amobi

      People always think it’s easy… funny huh?

      • Angela

        It is funny. 🙂 Somehow people equate being your own boss with freedom. That’s a very minor aspect of it, but newsflash: being your own boss also comes with much more responsibility and work. It’s a beautiful thing for driven entrepreneurs, but online business is FARRRR from easy.

  • Biz12

    Onuora,

    This is just a great idea. Plain and simple. The first 4 lived up to my expectations, and I’m sure the next 8 will surpass them! Bravo!

    • http://latw.wpengine.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks!

  • Cody Z

    I love the everything about this article! The Michael Jordan quote is a bit cliche, but it’s just so true. Take that with the you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take quote and you have a great philosophy for entrepreneurs. Trying and failing is part of the process. Expecting immediate success in this line of work is a pipe dream.

  • CholeCash

    Just an excellent read. You and your audience both have to win is so simple and also so insightful. If either one is missing, it won’t work in the long run. Thanks for this! 🙂

Editorial

The ONE skill most digital entrepreneurs do not have

After many years of mentoring digital entrepreneurs, I find that there is constantly one core skill they do not start with…

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Writing skill entrepreneurs

Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of being a digital marketing mentor to a lot of MBA students and entrepreneurs.

I have always loved being able to help people who are just discovering what the internet can do for their businesses and how thinking asymmetrically can create growth and profits online.

In the process of mentoring a lot of these awesome people, I started to see a common trend and it profoundly affected me and has made me rethink everything about the way I teach digital business.

The internet is awesome.

It’s made it possible for an entrepreneur or a small team of people to create websites and online applications that compete against much larger businesses. This because they have mastered some skillset that is in demand and have figured out how to share it profitably with the rest of the world.

I used to believe that when entrepreneurs are starting to learn about starting an online business, they needed to learn everything about business, tools, terminology and technology.

While those are all important, there is one critical skillset that is often missed when people are learning to build digital businesses.

The ability to write properly and eloquently.

Frustrated writer

I have been stunned and shocked to see people who can master every other component of digital marketing be so intimidated by a blank screen or sheet of paper.

Lots of entrepreneurs are terrified of writing. They love building products, selling products, tinkering with website elements, landing pages and doing everything else but they are scared to actually learn how to write compelling content.

The irony is, they love consuming content from other writers!

My story

When I built one of my successful online businesses, it was based on Microsoft Windows. I realized that to really understand how to create compelling content around software, I had to learn how to write. Even about a topic I was only peripherally aware of at the time.

So I did.

I wrote over 7,000 articles in less than 8 years.

I wrote on websites, syndication sites, on financial sites, press releases, landing pages, editorials and more.

I started one article at a time and did it so much that it became second nature. I was edited by tough editors at sites like Seeking Alpha and had to rewrite content often to get it published. It was tough starting out but I learned.

Eventually, my content was so compelling that my website had 50,000 daily visitors and in 2010, I received a Microsoft MVP award for the Windows Desktop.

Build Conference Anaheim

Me at the Microsoft Build Conference in Anaheim California – 2011

My ability to write got me into conferences where I met most of the popular technology writers I had always admired. I was a member of the press pool at Microsoft events – because I learned how to write.

That business made me close to a million dollars based on my digital marketing abilities BUT at the end of the day it all came down to one thing.

The ability to write and express myself.

It’s critical.

I learned this the hard way

When I would walk entrepreneurs through digital marketing basics and eventually get their sites up and running, I would find out that they either didn’t know how to write or hated writing.

That changed the way I teach.

Now I start off with a basic digital writing and copywriting class.

Once my students are able to write somewhat decently and properly, only then do we move to keyword research, idea validation etc.

My advice to entrepreneurs starting out

If you have an idea for an online business, you should take a writing class. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or a service, you should learn how to write.

You should head to online resources like Udemy and search for “writing”.

Yes, you can hire a copywriter to do some things for you but the truth is, even the best copywriters can’t replace you.

Customers and clients are drawn to YOU. 

They come to your site, connect to you on social media and respond to your content because it’s YOU. This is true for every kind of business and it’s also why the most effective way to sell professional services online is with your blog.

The blog allows customers and visitors to see how you think and figure out whether your values are compatible with theirs. If they like how you think and express yourself, you’re more likely to make that sale or convert that visitor.

Also practice writing!

“I’m not a good writer!” – that’s a common refrain I hear.

No one starts out as a good writer. No one.

Some people do have natural talent but even that takes honing and practice until it’s perfected. Write one hundred articles in a month and I GUARANTEE you that the first and last article will be dramatically different.

The bottom line

The ability to express yourself is one of the most critical skills you can develop as an adult. It’s what gets you the VC money, what gets you the raise at work, the first date with a significant other and what gets your content to convert.

Learning how to write can change your life. I know this because it changed mine.

If you don’t know how to write, learn and if you’re a good writer, practice. This skill is often the difference between success and failure online.

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Editorial

The future impact of Artificial Intelligence on content creation

Companies and countries are starting to map out some of the potential ways this could play out.

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The impact of AI on content creation

Recently, in the technology and marketing communities, we have started to have a robust discussion about the future impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the world’s workforce. Companies and countries are starting to map out some of the potential ways this could play out.

Let’s take a quick step back. Let’s define Artificial Intelligence. As usual, Wikipedia has a pretty good definition.

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals…. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”

Wikipedia

AI refers to the ability of computers and machines to learn and perform tasks that traditionally only humans could do.

AI is being used already

There are radical developments in AI happening in the following fields:

Healthcare

Artificial intelligence is breaking into the healthcare industry by assisting doctors. According to Bloomberg Technology, Microsoft has developed AI to help doctors find the right treatments for cancer. There is a great amount of research and drugs developed relating to cancer. In detail, there are more than 800 medicines and vaccines to treat cancer. This negatively affects the doctors, because there are too many options to choose from, making it more difficult to choose the right drugs for the patients. AI helps with those problems.

According to CNN, a recent study by surgeons at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington successfully demonstrated surgery with an autonomous robot. The team supervised the robot while it performed soft-tissue surgery, stitching together a pig’s bowel during open surgery, and doing so better than a human surgeon, the team claimed.

Driverless cars

Advancements in AI have contributed to the growth of the automotive industry through the creation and evolution of self-driving vehicles. As of 2016, there were over 30 companies utilizing AI into the creation of driverless cars. A few companies involved with AI include Tesla, Google, and Apple.

Finance and economics

Financial institutions have long used artificial neural network systems to detect charges or claims outside of the norm, flagging these for human investigation. Financial Institutions also routinely use AI and Machine Learning to determine credit worthiness.

Video games

In video games, artificial intelligence is routinely used to generate dynamic purposeful behavior in non-player characters (NPCs). In addition, well-understood AI techniques are routinely used for pathfinding. Some researchers consider NPC AI in games to be a “solved problem” for most production tasks.

Military

Worldwide annual military spending on robotics rose from 5.1 billion USD in 2010 to 7.5 billion USD in 2015. Military drones capable of autonomous action are widely considered a useful asset. In 2017, Vladimir Putin stated that “Whoever becomes the leader in (artificial intelligence) will become the ruler of the world”.

Advertising

A report by the Guardian newspaper in the UK in 2018 found that online gambling companies were using AI to predict the behavior of customers in order to target them with personalized promotions.

Developers of commercial AI platforms are also beginning to appeal more directly to casino operators, offering a range of existing and potential services to help them boost their profits and expand their customer base.

and more…

My concern though is a little less altruistic and more personal.

artificial_intelligence_brain

What is the future of content creation when a machine can write better than I can?

So many questions.

What is the future of blogs, blogging, content and landing pages when I can come up with a title and feed it to a program to auto-generate the content? Today we have plugins for WordPress that auto “spin” content and come up with pretty tacky “articles” but that technology is crap today.

What happens when those types of apps are perfected?

Here’s the challenge – on one hand I can make the case that if a machine can predict my credit worthiness with greater certainty than a banker, it should be able to create more engaging content than any blogger can.

Let’s go a little deeper.

If it can create more engaging content, it should be able to create more organic keywords and more effective calls to action than any human writer could.

Theoretically this would mean MUCH more profitable articles and landing pages i.e. more $$$ for the advertisers.

On the other hand, this means, a LOT of digital marketing bloggers, writers and copywriters would be out of jobs. That’s not even considering the newspaper business which could theoretically all be run by machines in real time putting EVERY reporter out of business… but I digress.

AI is an asymmetrical weapon, both in business and warfare. The first businesses to deploy this technology will win and grow exponential marketshare compared to companies that depend on real human beings.

The creepy part is, when AI is deployed, you as a consumer will never know. I mean think about it, you assume I am a human being writing this article right? You have no idea.

These are some of the conundrums I think we will face very soon with the rollout and deployment of AI. What do you all think?

Let me know in the comments below…

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Editorial

Is Magic Leap’s new mixed reality headset the future of digital marketing?

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition, which the company calls a “spatial computing” device, officially ships in the US today for $2,295.

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magic leap mixed reality headset
Photo Credit - Magic Leap

The day is finally here and after billions of dollars spent and years of secret development, you can finally buy a Magic Leap mixed reality headset.

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition officially ships in the US today for $2,295.

It’s an interesting piece of technology – the system is packing an Nvidia Parker CPU with two Denver 2.0 64-bit cores and four ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores. The GPU is an Nvidia Pascal with 256 CUDA cores, and the Lightpack has 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage capacity and a lithium-ion battery, though a full charge only powers three hours of continuous use.

The whole product consists of three main components. There’s the Lightwear headset, a pair of computerized goggles that drop over your eyes.

The Lightwear is connected to the Lightpack, a puck-shaped computer about the size of a portable CD player, which clips to your pocket.

The Lightpack houses a chip from Nvidia and provides power to the headset. Then there’s a remote that you hold in one hand that allows you to control the experience with a digital pointer that you can see through the glasses.

Magic Leap controller

The company has been talking about changing the way we see and use products for years now, racking up more than $2.3 billion in funding from the likes of Alibaba, Andreesen Horowitz, Google, Warner Bros., and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The early reviews from tech companies were pretty bad and now that an early version of it is here, it has been getting some pretty good reviews.

For a couple of really good Magic Leap reviews, check out the reviews at CNBC and The Verge.

Also a video review from The Verge below.

Now at over $2200, this is an industrial product which will make more sense for hardcore enthusiasts and businesses.

Magic Leap produces what most people call augmented or mixed reality experiences: hologram-like objects projected into three-dimensional space.

Modern smartphones offer a primitive version of mixed reality, and headsets like Microsoft HoloLens offer a more advanced version for industrial and professional use. Magic Leap has a more ambitious goal: it’s building futuristic mixed reality glasses for everyday computing, hoping to beat bigger companies like Apple or Facebook to market.

My take

Magic Leap is trying to do a REALLY big thing and my gut tells me that they aren’t quite there yet (and may never get there). As someone who was excited about the Playstation VR before I actually used it, I know that this mixed/virtual reality model is not easy to pull off.

I start thinking about the potential uses for the product and some of them are interesting.

  • A consumer might be shopping for a car and, with Magic Leap, could see that car right in their driveway and swap out the colors in real time.
  • Or a consumer browsing for a pair of shoes online and seeing what the shoes look like in 3-D from their desk.

I think that this is an interesting concept and I see what the company is trying to do but unfortunately I think that based on the reviews I have seen and the amount of money invested there are a few major problems.

First, based on where the company is in the development cycle, I think we are very far away from seeing any must have killer apps for it. The hardware hasn’t been ready so by definition, developers haven’t been ready either.

Second, while I have friends who have seen it and tell me that it’s pretty comfortable, it still looks a little too bulky. It’s a really tough problem to miniaturize hardware for virtual/mixed reality – REALLY hard.

Third, my gut tells me that it’s not technology that a consumer will want to use on a daily basis. It’s the vicious cycle of hardware not being ready, developers not being ready, no killers apps, early release, consumers apathetic.

Fourth, still way too expensive.

Finally, I think that they may be the right product but just at the wrong time. Maybe in a few years, the size of the technology will be as small as a pair of regular glasses and businesses will have the interest and apps for consumers but right now, I just don’t see it.

My own humble take is that unless something can drastically change within 18 months, the real story will be about how much money has been spent here and what investors can do to get their money back.

What do you all think?

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